After Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was diagnosed with kidney stones on Saturday at a private clinic in Lahore, speculation is rife that there may be a possible change of guard at the top level. This comes at a time when the Nawaz Sharif government is preparing itself for a verdict in the Panama Papers case, which will come up for hearing next week in the Supreme Court.
Political pundits say that the news of kidney stones may just be the groundwork for Sharif to fly off to a foreign location and establish a caretaker government in Pakistan. It may be recalled that last year too, Sharif had flown to London for heart treatment after three of his children were indicted in the Panama Papers scandal. Sharif returned to Pakistan after around a month, only when things had settled down.
One of the top names that are being speculated for the potential caretaker prime minister is Sharif’s younger brother Shahbaz Sharif. The name of finance minister Ishaq Dar is also being suggested by political pundits. Dar is related to Sharif’s family by marriage. There are also speculations that the recent meeting between Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan may have taken place in this context.